Success Stories

Mezzanine Amplifies Watson Cognitive Computing

At IBM Connect, thousands gathered in a San Francisco ballroom quickly understood that the same Mezzanine environment being used to deliver the keynote address was also an effective glue for uniting advanced workflows.

 
A sneak peek of the IBM Connect keynote demonstration of Mezzanine
You asked me to get the global team together so we can brainstorm on how to help the sales people,” Chris Crummey, Executive Director of Evangelism, IBM Watson Work Collaboration Solutions, told his boss.  “So we’re going to use Mezzanine from Oblong as a platform for our meeting, which will allow us to collaborate and innovate in real time. You’re going to love this.  It’s like a multi-threaded meeting experience.

This is where Mezzanine excels: in uniting collaborators across a geographically dispersed organization in an exceptional and multi-dimensional, multi-threaded visually immersive environment where real work gets done.   

Oblong and IBM had integrated the Mezzanine environment with the Watson Workspace, which allowed sales to move through the steps of closing business as a natural and seamless part of the meeting.

The Power of Infopresence

With Mezzanine’s Infopresence, data breaks free from the confines of individual computer and projection screens and comes alive, defining a new way to work. When everyone in a distributed team sees everything in the same way at the same time, they make faster and better decisions.  

The audience in San Francisco was wowed by how the sharing of numerous cognitive applications from any device enabled teams to answer important questions faster and design better solutions. 

We’re proud of what we’ve done together with IBM Watson groups. It speaks volumes that the social collaboration masters of cognitive computing have chosen to work so closely with us. Moreover, the Watson IoT and security teams also invited us to their recent events, having come to the same conclusion.

A Shared Passion for Design and Making a Difference

The integration of collaborative and social technologies that IBM and Oblong have achieved allows people from around the globe to share real-time insights, which quickens decision-making and ultimately helps companies become more effective and agile. 

Oblong’s UI-centered philosophy, our passion for design, and our dedication to making a difference through computing all align with this IBM mission. Our successful partnership to reinvent the way we work is a testament to the power of that shared vision.

Watch the Full IBM Connect Demo

 

Working with Watson

The goal of each Watson Experience Center—located in New York, San Francisco, and Cambridge—is to demystify AI and challenge visitor’s expectations through more tangible demonstrations of Watson technology. Visitors are guided through a series of narratives and data interfaces, each grounded in IBM’s current capabilities in machine learning and AI. These sit alongside a host of Mezzanine rooms where participants further collaborate to build solutions together.

The process for creating each experience begins with dynamic, collaborative research. Subject matter experts take members of the design and engineering teams through real-world scenarios—disaster response, financial crimes investigation, oil and gas management, product research, world news analysis—where we identify and test applicable data sets. From there, we move our ideas quickly to scale.

Accessibility to the immersive pixel canvas for everyone involved is key to the process. Designers must be able to see their ideas outside of the confines of 15″ laptops and prescriptive software. Utilizing tools tuned for rapid iteration at scale, our capable team of designers, data artists, and engineers work side-by-side to envision and define each experience. The result is more than a polished marketing narrative; it's an active interface that allows the exploration of data with accurate demonstrations of Watson’s capabilities—one that customers can see themselves in.

Under the Hood

Underlying the digital canvas is a robust spatial operating environment, g‑speak, which allows our team to position real data in a true spatial context. Every data point within the system, and even the UI itself, is defined in real world coordinates (measured in millimeters, not pixels). Gestures, directional pointing, and proximity to screens help us create interfaces that more closely understand user intent and more effectively humanize the UI.

This award-nominated collaboration with IBM is prototyped and developed at scale at Oblong’s headquarters in Los Angeles as well as IBM’s Immersive AI Lab in Austin. While these spaces are typically invite-only, IBM is increasingly open to sharing the content and the unique design ideas that drive its success with the public. This November, during Austin Design Week, IBM will host a tour of their Watson Immersive AI Lab, including live demonstrations of the work and a Q&A session with leaders from the creative team.

Can't make it to Austin? Contact our Solutions team for a glimpse of our vision of the future at our headquarters in the Arts District in Los Angeles.

Interested in Learning More?

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